In brief

  • An artist based in San Francisco has created a series of digital collectibles 'infected' by Coronavirus.
  • The collectibles are currently selling for us much as $300 on the OpenSea marketplace.
  • Corona Babies comes after the launch of CoronaCoin, a cryptocurrency project that attempts to profit every time someone dies from the virus.

An artist in San Francisco has created a series of blockchain-based collectibles called Corona Babies designed to commemorate the Coronavirus. 

Corona Babies are a collection of 18 different bats, drawn by San Francisco-based visual artist and crypto investor, Jaclyn Santos. Like other NFTs, they don’t...do anything, but are a commemorative, unique token of the Coronavirus, the, er, global pandemic that’s ruined families, crashed markets, and killed over 3,600.

“Are you afraid of catching Coronavirus? Now is your chance to catch it in an all new way — sans pneumonia, with Corona Babies,” reads the tagline on Twitter announcing the launch. 

 

Each bat, tokenized as $BATZ, represents a different bat infected by the coronavirus. The bats each go for around 0.5-1.2 ETH, or $113-$270, and they were launched this weekend on the OpenSea marketplace, “They promise to love you, in sickness and health,” tweeted Santos.

Rune, for instance, comes from Iceland, where “we have great health insurance up here in case my COVID-19 spreads! Always look at the positives.” Olá meanwhile, comes from Mexico, and invites you in “for a Corona.” 

Previous for-profit blockchain projects related to the coronavirus have been panned as insensitive. 

CoronaCoin was created three weeks ago by programmers and activists from the anonymous messaging board 4Chan. Its value is ostensibly pegged to the coronavirus, as the token supply is burned every two days to keep up with official WHO statistics, according to Sunny Kemp, an admin for CoronaCoin’s Telegram group. However, though the virus has spread, the value of the coin hasn’t picked up.

“Yikes. Way to incentivize people to try to spread the disease to gain value. Should do the opposite, gain value the more it’s stopped and the less it spreads,” commented a user on a subreddit for Ethereum. Public officials and large companies have condemned other attempts to profit from the coronavirus, like selling face masks, food, and supplies at a premium. Should this be added to the pile?